TRUMP AND THE ENVIRONMENT 7
Trumpand the Environment
Trumpand the Environment
Whilespeaking to a mammoth crowd in Dallas, presidential candidate DonaldTrump vocalized, “Youcannot get hurt by extreme weather” (Samenow, 2016). Although hisstatement was to counter the policies adopted by the currentadministration, it demonstrated his attitude towards global warmingand efforts for pollution reduction. The United States has been inthe spotlight of the international environment agencies for beingamong the leading environmental threats. The intenseindustrialization in the country coupled with the slow adoption ofefficient production methods increase the number of firms withemissions that are above the minimum recommended levels. In addition,the media is effectual in shaping people’s attitude towardsenvironmental conservation (Dispensa, & Brulle, 2003). Also, thegovernment plays an important role in devising policies and fundingclimate change programs. Therefore, the strategies adopted by anyAmerican presidentreflectthe intensity of the attention that he/she will give to conservationprograms. Donald Trump, the Republican Party candidate, is criticalthat global warming is not the most injurious problem facing theUnited States. Instead, it is only a restrictive ideology shaped tocurtail the country’s economic growth.
First,Trump believes that there is no justification for the stalledKeystone Pipeline because the continued use of fossil fuels has noserious threat to people’s lives (Finnegan, 2016). President Obamachampioned the stalling of the project as part of the mega plan toreduce the use of non-renewable sources of energy. The currentadministration works towards increasing the number of industries thatare technology compliant. According to Finnegan (2016), reducedemissions into the atmosphere would not only reduce the number ofrespiratory fatalities, but also cut on the funds channeled towardsenvironmental conservation programs. While speaking to the NorthDakota Petroleum Council, Trump promised that he would reconsiderchampioning for a free market for fossil fuels. It is noteworthy thatthe issue of environmental protection is inevitable in the Americanpolitics. The voters in North Dakota perceived Trump’s offer asprogressive and rewarded him with the majority vote during thepresidential nominations.
Secondly,Trump argues that it is unfair for the United States to remain underthe yoke of the Paris Treaty on Environmental Protection. In hiscampaign speech in North Dakota, the vocal politician offered thatthe Paris ratification was a tool used by foreign bureaucrats tocontrol the energy use in the United States (Tilman, 2016). He wentahead to outline that over 190 countries that were part of theagreement made voluntary pledges to lower emissions. Therefore, nogovernment can take control over the release of hazardous gasses inanother country. In his press release on 26th May 2016, Trumpreiterated that the concordance was a conspiracy used by the Chinesegovernment to control the economic progression of the United States(Tilman, 2016). He promised to revoke the signatory of the countryfrom the treaty in the first 100 days in office.
TheRepublican candidate provided two major implications of ousting fromthe convention. First, Trump indicated that the withdrawal would savethe American taxpayers the remittances made to the United Nationsenvironmental programs. According to Tilman (2016), the countrycontributes more than 9 billion dollars to conservation efforts,which are spearheaded by the international body. Secondly, the movewould lower the funds channeled to the voluntary local policies thatwere devised as compliance mechanisms to the convention. Thegovernment tasks the EPA with the responsibility of implementingconservation requirements. The policies outlined by the Paris Treatyadded onto the local pollution control strategies implemented by EPA(Tilman, 2016). Relinquishing the costs would fit in the Republicanideology of expanding the local economy.
Inaddition to the reduced spending on international environmentalconservation efforts, Trump surmises that America would emancipateitself from international monitoring. He expresses his stance thatthe internal affairs regarding the expansion of the manufacturingsector should be devoid of any undue external restrictions (League ofConservation Voters, 2016). He blames President Obama’sadministration for giving in to the Paris Treaty, which Trumpbelieves, was indirectly supported by China to obliterate thecompetitive domestic growth of the United States. According to theLeague of Conservation Voters (2016), Trump adduces that thegovernment should not be overly concerned with countering globalwarming since it is not a pressing local issue. He observes that manycountries are noncompliant to the internationally agreedenvironmental laws. Burdening the country with suppressed economicactivities that are deemed contributory to global warming is,therefore, an injustice to potential investors (League ofConservation Voters, 2016). Since extreme weather conditions cannothave severe implications on individuals, there should be a shift tothe focus of the most imperative concerns affecting the society.
AsDispensa and Brulle (2003) observe, the media are susceptible toproviding biased coverage of issues that are critical to theprotection of the ecosystem. The rationale for this is that theyrepresent the interests of corporate businesses that are also primarystakeholders in the conservation measures. This tendency wasreflected when Trump advocated for the introduction of a free marketfor fossil fuel during his campaign in North Dakota (Finnegan, 2016).Although most of the columnists writing for different papers targetedto counter arguments made by Trump, they ended up reporting hisjustifications more than backing their thoughts with puissantpremises. For example, when writing for the Los Angeles Times,Finnegan (2016) outlines that Trump’s idea has the potential ofescalating the levels of global warming. However, he let Trump’sideology dominate his column. The presidential hopeful was confidentthat allowing individuals to have a stake in the public oil fieldswould revive the economy. He added that it would be a gateway to makeAmerica great again, as foreseen by Ronald Reagan. Trump furtherclaims that the primary reason the government controls mining of oilis to monitor the effect of allied activities on the environment. Healso observed that the move is repudiating to the economy, bearing inmind that the dreaded outcome (global warming)is a fabricated conceptto hoax the United States (Finnegan, 2016). He terms the scientificclaim that human activities result in surging seas and increasedtemperatures as hypothetical and misleading.
Anotherreason that has increased the media attention on Trump is oppositionto human-caused global warming. Trump notes that the exacerbatedirregular weather patterns and the melting of snow in the PolarRegions are beyond human control (Finnegan, 2016). It is also aplanet issue rather than the sole responsibility of the UnitedStates. While speaking to the Washington Post’s Editorial Board on21st March 2016, Trump pointed out that the environmentalstakeholders have a way of changing phrases to suit the situation athand (Samenow, 2016). He gave an example of the 1920s when theagencies called the changes experienced in the following two decades,1920s and 1930s, as ‘global cooling’. However, he notes that thesame people have adopted the term ‘global warming’ to describethe present situation. Trump concludes that human activities haveinsignificant instigation on the changes (Samenow, 2016).
Besidesbeing skeptical about the human contribution to climate changes,Trump has expressed his thoughts that contrast with those ofprominent individuals and decision makers. Speaking to the WallStreet Journal on 24th September 2015, Trump openly criticized PopeFrancis’ call to the First World countries to consider globalwarming as a pertinent threat (League of Conservation Voters, 2016).His contraposition with the Vatican leader’s sentiments was mainlyinnervated by his economic policies that incline towards lesscontrolled production. As outlined Dispensa and Brulle, (2003), themedia is fast to report on the sentiments of opinion makersespecially on debatable topics in the society. Global warming is onesuch concern. The public’s perception is susceptible to theconspicuous and spasmodic media headlines that capture the thoughtsof key stakeholders. For example, tens of press used variedeye-catching titles to enunciate Trump’s feelings on the Pope’smessage. According to the League of Conservation Voters (2016), Trumpholds that the United States should shift its attention to the dangerposed by nuclear weapons since they have the capacity to harm thesociety than extreme weather.
Inconclusion, Donald Trump’s policy on global warming andenvironmental conservation are contrary to the efforts funded by thecurrent administration because he believes that humans do notinstigate climate change. He also presumes that the ParisTreaty,to which the United States is a signatory, only lacerates the economyby increasing the expenditure on conservation efforts. To accelerateeconomic growth, Trump postulates that the government should notcurtail the use of fossil fuels. He is against the idea of burdeningthe citizens with reverting the changes in the climatic conditions.He explains that nuclear weapons pose an imminent danger than alteredweather patterns. The media has been paramount in informing thepublic on the sentiments of the Republican presidential candidate onthe disputatious issue and providing the reactions of differentcolumnists who either support or taunt his partiality.
Dispensa,J.M, & Brulle, R. J. (2003). Media`s social construction ofenvironmental issues: focus on global warming-a comparative study.International Journal of sociology and social policy,23(10), 74-105.
Finnegan,M. (2016, July 26). Trump clinches GOP nomination and vows to backout of global warming pact. LosAngeles Times.Retrieved fromhttp://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-clinches-nomination-05262016-snap-story.html
Krouwel,A., Kutiyski, Y., & Beck, I. I. (2016). In the lead up to the2016 election, we can clearly see significant polarization betweenRepublican and Democratic candidates across a variety of issues.Impactof American Politics & Policy Blog.
Leagueof Conservation Voters. (2016). Intheir own words 2016 presidential candidates on climatechange.Retrievedfrom http://www.lcv.org/assets/docs/presidential-candidates-on.pdf
Samenow,J. (2016, March 22). Donald Trump’s unsettling nonsense on weatherand climate. TheWashington Post.Web. Retrieved fromhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/03/22/donald-trumps-unsettling-nonsense-on-weather-and-climate/
Tilman,D. (2016). 13 Listening to Nature and Letting Data Be “Trump”.Long-term ecological research: Changingthe Nature of Scientists.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.